When the Chicago Bears cleaned house and jettisoned the old regime, it represented an opportunity to bring in a new general manager, as well as a chance to hit a widespread organizational reset.
And with Ryan Poles at the top of the pecking order, it appears as if the Bears are doing that while taking it to another level.
In an attempt to build out an expansive front office, Poles and the Bears announced eight of new hirings:
- New scouts: Reese Hicks (West Coast), Tom Bradway (Northeast), Ryan Cavanaugh (Midwest)
- Player Personnel: Blair Hitchcock (Director of Sports Nutrition), A.J. Lamb (Sports Scientist)
- Football Technology: Krithi Chandrakasan (Director of Football Analytics), Ryan Hubley (Football Systems Developer)
These hirings are the latest transactions in what has been a busy first season for Poles, and we haven’t even made it to July just yet.
Since Poles’ hiring in January, the Bears have brought in a new head coach and a bunch of assistants to re-shape the on-field staff. He brought in an assistant GM, which is a new position in the Bears’ front office. As is the Director of High Performance, which is a first for the Bears. After the draft, Poles gave out promotions and welcomed some new faces throughout the front office. They even put out an APB because they wanted to hire some nerds. And now, we have that collection of new names above. I doubt the Bears are done adding to this group. But that they’ve injected new blood, fresh ideas, and a different set of perspectives in this manner is most impressive. And, frankly, long overdue.
We’ve been trying not to belabor the point, but it is worth repeating (even if it is for the billionth time). The Bears have long been one of football’s least-analytically inclined franchises. It is a team that has been virtually absent from the analytics conversation. Failing to marry metrics to the eye test, plus shortcomings in seeking new advantages are reasons why Chicago hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1986. To me, that’s far too long without hoisting the Lombardi trophy. Chicago’s football team has been running like a mom-and-pop shop for far too long. And that is especially painful to realize when you realize this shop is actually worth billions of dollars. But perhaps Poles is putting an end to that with moves like the ones mentioned above. May these be the first steps in many going forward.